Defending Our Parks!
The CASLC came into being in 1972 to seize a rare opportunity to preserve pristine land bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Fort Pierce Inlet. We rallied local residents and civic organizations to petition the state of Florida to establish the Fort Pierce Inlet State Park. Our success met with gratitude from residents who felt assured that this special area would be protected for generations to come.
In 1977 we celebrated our second big success: the Alliance, and noted environmentalists from Martin County, Maggy Hurchalla and Dr. Richard Stokes, lobbied for the creation of the Savannas Preserve State Park. It is now the largest contiguous freshwater marshland along the east coast, and provides key ecological services to the Indian River Lagoon and habitats for hundreds of native species.
Already clearly evident in the 1970s was the need to set aside for conservation the most pristine and ecologically important areas due to Florida’s rapid population growth and development.
What was difficult to foresee, however, was that the very mission of our state parks -to conserve and protect its special land and waterscapes, its integral ecologies and species habitats – would come under increasing threat as time passed.
In other words, in the wrong political climate, no state park is protected, even those qualifying as a “Preserve.”
The CASLC has had to return our attention to the state parks that we made tireless effort to place in what we thought were protected status.